Where to buy Barware
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Buying great bar tools can be incredibly frustrating. I got a message from someone who viewed the post on Japanese bartenders asking where he could get beautiful, aesthetic bar equipment like the Yarai mixing glass used in the video. While there used to be only a few places you could purchase bar equipment, in the last 5 years, with the interest in high end bartending blossoming and the knowledge of the past being rediscovered, there are more options than ever before. I’m going to go through some of the most exciting choices:
Best Innovative/Futuristic Bar Tools
My favorite website for totally out there tools and equipment is Uber Bar Tools. The owner, Michael Silvers, is a tireless promoter who called me on skype from Australia to talk about his product. His enthusiasm is infectious and his designs are notable, particularly the sexy-bar-ninja endo blade, which I’ve featured above. I’m not a big fan of their pouring system, and I’ve found their jigger design to be a bit difficult to use (though I am partial to the OXO jigger as a cheap masterpiece), but I am an enormous fan of their triangular ice scoop/julep strainer hybrid. Ice scoops are not sexy, so you may as well have one double as a julep strainer, and the little holes in the strainer will go along way to ensure consistency in your drinks when you are in the weeds, by reducing the melt from the ice bin.
Their website is uberbartools.com, and much of their gear is now available on amazon.
Best Bar Époque Classical Bar Equipment
Most bar historians, when asked if there is a “golden age” of bartending, would agree that it corresponds quite nicely with La Belle Époque, which is French for “the beautiful era,” a period of peace and prosperity that ranged from 1871, where, coincidentally, the legendary Jerry Thomas was in his prime across the pond, to 1914, and the start of World War I. Japanese bartenders in particular, reverently follow the style and conventions of this era, that I like to call the “Bar Époque.” If you look at the pieces here, they are almost like works of art, and elevate the drinks they are made in, and the experience of the guest accordingly.
A note on the Japanese style jiggers: These jiggers are tall and slim, and are designed to reduce spillage and allow for more exacting pours while being aesthetically pleasing.
Best “One of a Kind” Barware
If you are looking for a signature piece that reflects your personality…Ebay has everything from a Hank Williams decanter, or to an antique Italian portable bar. The absinthiana section here (absinthe accessories) is particularly notable. :
Best Cheap/High Volume Barware
Bar Products makes hands down the cheapest and best tools for bartenders working in nightclubs or busy bars with a younger clientele. While some tools are low quality and some are silly, there are some that are genuinely just…Awesome. Luciano bought a butterfly knife that opens up into a beer opener on here that never ceases to amaze me.
Best Value Website
For the best quality, and availability for the lowest prices, the website of choice, is kegworks.com. They have flip top pourers to extend the life of simple syrup, and a Guinness Kegerator. All for reasonable prices. The most utilitarian barware, and the tools of choice at club MWI, are OXO bar tools. For the money, they are simply the best out there. As durable as they are elegant.